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Consent is something we talk about a lot nowadays--but what does it actually mean? Whether in a long-term sexual relationship or hooking up with someone for the first time, consent is always important and always necessary!
What is consent?
Consent is an enthusiastic, "Yes!" when no is a viable option. This means that consent is always:
Freely Given: Consent is a legitimate choice that is not influenced by alcohol, drugs, fear, manipulation, or guilt.
Reversible: Consent can always be taken back at anytime, even if something is already happening.
Informed: Before giving consent, your partner knows all the information they need to know. For example, will you all be using a condom? Does either partner have an STI? If one doesn't follow-through on what you agreed on (i.e. you don't wear a condom after agreeing to), then you don't have consent!
Enthusiastic: Your partner says, "Yes!" because they want to engage in the activity, not because they feel like they have to.
Specific: Consent is given for a specific activity. If you start to engage in a different activity, you need to get consent again--it's not automatically assumed.
When do I need to get consent?
Consent is required before EVERY sexual act or contact. Just because you've gotten it once, doesn't mean it lasts forever! As stated above, if you start engaging in a different sexual activity, you need to get consent again. And even if you're not engaging in a sexual act, it doesn't hurt to get consent anyway!
Isn't that kind of awkward?
Consent doesn't have to be awkward. In fact, if integrated into your sexual life, it can seem pretty natural once you get used to it!
Check out these videos:
SOURCES: PLANNED PARENTHOOD, SEXUAL ASSAULT RESOURCE CENTER
SAFETY ALERT: If you are in danger, please call 911, your local hotline 541-386-6603, or
the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233. If concerned about a computer trail, exit this site now.
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